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Postgraduate study in Sustainable Development


PhD Research degrees

The Institute also supports students undertaking PhD study, with supervision being available in a wide range of aspects of sustainability. Some students currently undertaking SD related research are listed below.

Applications for PhD study, and any funding opportunities, are handled by the individual Schools and Departments, but please contact us for advice on finding the most appropriate supervisor for your research proposal.

Please also see the current list of PhD Studentships (PDF, 140 KB) in the School of Geography & Geosciences.

Future Connections 2012 and Scottish SD PhD network


In June 2012, the inaugural Future Connections conference was organised and hosted by SASI members (4 PhD candidates and 1 staff member, from the Schools of Management, Geography and Geosciences).

PhD candidates in Sustainable Development often face unique challenges as a result of undertaking trans/interdisciplinary work. For example, where do you publish sustainability research? What conference should you chose when you don’t fit neatly into an academic discipline? How do you pick an external examiner? We hoped to reach out to fellow postgraduates working in sustainability research in Scotland with the aim of answering some of these questions collaboratively.

Another identified problem was where are our peers? What Universities? What Schools/departments within these Universities? And what are they researching? Future connections 2012 also aimed to establish a Scottish network of PhD candidates in Sustainable Development to strengthen our research presence.

The conference attracted 60 attendees from all over Scotland, from every University bar one. The feedback was immensely positive, and the Universities of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt have volunteered to host Future Connections 2013. Please join the JISClist to keep in touch with the network (more information below).


Building the network

Please join the JISClist to be kept informed about what is happening in the network; all emails will come from there. The address is futureconnections [at] Sign up for the list here.  People have to add themselves to the list to subscribe.

Please share the JISClist with individuals and research groups you think might be interested and appropriate for the network.


Conference documentation:

Conference round-up - Please click here our round-up of the conference: summaries of the World Café and Plenary Sessions. These are in Prezi format and contain the information written in the mind maps during the World Café and Plenary sessions.

FC2012 Conference Proceedings (PDF, 193 KB) - If you would like a copy of a specific paper or poster, please kindly contact the presenter directly; their email addresses can be found in the programme.

Future Connections 2012 website (now no longer being updated)

Contact us – if you would like to contact the organisers of FC2012, please email us at: fc2012 [at] (please note we only check this account occasionally).

The organisers are grateful for the support given by SASI, CAPOD, School of Management, School of Geography and Geosciences, and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society, and also to staff members for their generous participation.



PhD Students

PhD students researching sustainability issues are attached to the various schools within the university rather than the institute.  Listed below are some of the students (past and present) that have researched sustainability issues at the university.

Thereza Raquel Sales de Aguiar (graduated)


Corporate Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions - A UK Study
Supervised by: Professor Jan Bebbington



Eilis Cox (graduated)

Biology (SMRU)

Developing criteria for the selection of MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) around the UK. 
Supervised by: Dr Sascha Hooker, Dr Jason Matthiopolous and Prof. Phil Hammond.



Rebecca Folly

 Geography and Geosciences

What does a sustainable economy look like? Lessons from around the world.
Supervised by: Professor Jan Bebbington and Dr Emilia Ferraro



Stephen Gamble


Reversible fuel cells
Supervised by: Professor John Irvine



Alexander James Gnanapragasam

Geography and Geosciences

Examining the role of the teacher in education from nursery to postgraduate level with a focus on outdoor learning experiences. Exploring how participatory approaches can positively impact wellbeing.
Supervised by: Prof. Jan Bebbington and Dr Rehema White



Gavin Hill (graduated)


Biodegradable polymeric surfactants based upon natural feedstocks.
Supervised by: Prof. David Cole-Hamilton



Leung Cheng Han  


Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility in the gambling industry
Supervised by Professor Rob Gray



Andreas Hoepner (graduated)


Socially Responsible Investment/Sustainable Investment.
Supervised by: Professor David McMillan & Professor Rob Gray



Inga Jacobs

International Relations

Water conflict in Africa/Transboundary water resource management.
Supervised by: Professor Ian Taylor


Michael Musgrave                                                            

 Geography and Geosciences

My research project looks at the decline of the Zambezi teak forests of western Zambia, quantifying the decrease and the causes of decline.  The study hopes to inform government and management changes to prevent further decline.  The study will also investigate whether there is the possibility for generating income through the payment of carbon-based ecosystem services.  Supervised by: Dr Rehema White.



Aideen O’Dochartaugh                                                       


Sustainable development and the role of business organisations
Supervised by Professor Rob Gray



Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh (graduated)

Geography and Geosciences

From Sodom and Gomorrah to Abuja: The nexus of multi-layered policy gaps in urban housing - Institutionalized disenfranchisement of Accra's low-income and vulnerable households.
Supervised by: Professor J M Doherty.



Svenja Meyerricks


Interdisciplinary evaluation of community projects for the reduction of carbon emissions in Scotland, in particular of Climate Challenge Fund beneficiaries. PhD funded by joint ESRC / Scottish Government studentship
Supervised by Prof Jan Bebbington, Dr Rehema White, Prof Steve Reicher



Emilka Skyryzpek

Social Anthropology

 Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and Agreement-Making at the Frieda River Copper Mine, Papua New Guinea.  PhD funded by an ESRC 1+3 studentship with the Centre for Pacific Studies in the Social Anthropology department
Supervised by Dr Tony Crook and Dr Christina Toren



Lorin Witta

Geography and Geosciences

Cultural Roots & Implications for the Sustainable Management of Red Deer in Scotland.
Supervised by: Dr Rehema White

Please email Penny if you wish to be included on this list.